We’re Rethinking Our Lawn Design (& You Should, Too)

If bright yellow dandelions and purple clover are popping up on lawns that usually look like carpet, or it’s eerily quiet on your street on a Saturday afternoon when you would otherwise hear the humming of lawn mowers, there’s a chance that your neighb…

If bright yellow dandelions and purple clover are popping up on lawns that usually look like carpet, or it’s eerily quiet on your street on a Saturday afternoon when you would otherwise hear the humming of lawn mowers, there's a chance that your neighbors are participating in the No-Mow May campaign.

The idea behind it is this: In May when native pollinators like bees and butterflies wake up after the winter, they need a major calorie boost to get them started for the season ahead. When faced with manicured lawns with no blooming plants in sight, our pollinator friends are starved for a meal. By not mowing for a month, you create a habitat—and place to forage—for bees and other early-season pollinators.

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The Best Vegetables to Grow in Raised Garden Beds

You can Grow Your Own Way. All spring and summer, we’re playing in the vegetable garden; join us for step-by-step guides, highly recommended tools, backyard tours, juicy-ripe recipes, and then some. Let’s get our hands dirty.

Every year during the s…

You can Grow Your Own Way. All spring and summer, we’re playing in the vegetable garden; join us for step-by-step guides, highly recommended tools, backyard tours, juicy-ripe recipes, and then some. Let’s get our hands dirty.


Every year during the strawberry harvest, I daydream of growing strawberries in a long, narrow raised bed (tabletop height, so I don’t have to crouch, crawl, and squat to pick the berries, which is quite tedious). But a raised bed for my sizable strawberry patch would be a considerable undertaking and expense. Plus, I would need not just one but two beds to ensure a seamless harvest.

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Help! What Vegetables Should I Be Planting Right Now?

You can Grow Your Own Way. All spring and summer, we’re playing in the vegetable garden; join us for step-by-step guides, highly recommended tools, backyard tours, juicy-ripe recipes, and then some. Let’s get our hands dirty.

In the lockdown spring …

You can Grow Your Own Way. All spring and summer, we're playing in the vegetable garden; join us for step-by-step guides, highly recommended tools, backyard tours, juicy-ripe recipes, and then some. Let's get our hands dirty.


In the lockdown spring of 2020, when scores of people started vegetable gardens, a local farmer selling tomato plants by the honor system (yes, those still exist in the rural area where I live) had a large handwritten sign up that said in capital letters: “Do not plant tomatoes until after the last spring frost!” I hope that his customers followed this advice, otherwise instead of juicy beefsteak tomatoes in August, they would have dead plants in May.

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How Much Mulch Is Too Much Mulch?

Pass through any residential street in the suburbs and you’ll probably notice trees with mulch piled up high around their bases. In gardening lingo, this is called a “mulch volcano,” something not only unnecessary—and a waste of mulch—but also harmful …

Pass through any residential street in the suburbs and you'll probably notice trees with mulch piled up high around their bases. In gardening lingo, this is called a “mulch volcano,” something not only unnecessary—and a waste of mulch—but also harmful to the tree.

Mulching, when done properly, is one of the most important gardening tasks, especially in the spring. Roger Swain, the legendary host of the PBS television show The Victory Garden, wrote, “If I did nothing more, I would mulch.” Similar to watering, fertilizing, and applying other products—organic or not—to your plants, more is usually not better; you need to strike the balance between being generous and overdoing it.

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12 NASA-Approved Plants that Actually Improve Air Quality

Even if you’ve never given indoor air quality much thought, the past two years have likely changed that. HEPA air cleaners and negative air machines have become conversation topics, and indoor air quality is very much on everyone’s mind. You might be c…

Even if you’ve never given indoor air quality much thought, the past two years have likely changed that. HEPA air cleaners and negative air machines have become conversation topics, and indoor air quality is very much on everyone’s mind. You might be contributing to better air quality already, though, with your collection of indoor plants.

We’ve actually known that houseplants can do quite a bit to improve air quality since 1989, when NASA conducted a study to determine how popular houseplants contribute to air quality by removing toxins. Ever since, the plants that improve air quality have been nicknamed “NASA-approved plants”.

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What Is a Garden Window? A Plant Lover’s Dream.

Since the onset of the pandemic two years ago, people have turned their attention to their homes like never before, and in the process, discovered houseplants. If you follow “plantfluencers” such as @houseplantjournal and @hiltoncarter, it’s also not n…

Since the onset of the pandemic two years ago, people have turned their attention to their homes like never before, and in the process, discovered houseplants. If you follow “plantfluencers” such as @houseplantjournal and @hiltoncarter, it’s also not new to you that millennials have been at the forefront of this trend, even before the pandemic. Millennials are plant parents who know their stuff, and according to this study, making sure that plants get enough sunlight is their number one concern. No light, no photosynthesis, no plant growth…it’s that simple.

In many homes—large or small—bright, sunny spots where plants thrive are precious real estate. Sure, you can install overhead grow lights, but they take up additional space, and they’re not exactly a stylish addition to your living space. That’s where garden windows come in.

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How to Kill Weeds Naturally—for Real

Every year between April and June, I go on a weed-killing mission to eradicate garlic mustard. I pull every one of these noxious, highly invasive weeds I can my hands on, and yank them out. Getting garlic mustard,—or any weed for that matter—under cont…

Every year between April and June, I go on a weed-killing mission to eradicate garlic mustard. I pull every one of these noxious, highly invasive weeds I can my hands on, and yank them out. Getting garlic mustard,—or any weed for that matter—under control is an incremental process requiring elbow grease, a tool or two, and persistence.

However, because more and more homeowners and gardeners are trying to steer clear of glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup and other herbicide products), they're turning to natural alternatives. And while there are tons of DIY formulas online, it’s not necessarily a great idea to mix up your own. Read on for for a little debunking, as well as other ways you can kill weeds naturally and safely. Oh, and how you can prevent weeds from growing in your yard in the first place, of course.

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Think Gardening Only Happens in Spring? Think Again.

“Have you planted your garden yet?” is a question I frequently get in the spring. It always puzzles me, because to supply you and your family with fresh produce all season long, planting a garden is not a one-time thing, it’s an ongoing activity. For e…

“Have you planted your garden yet?” is a question I frequently get in the spring. It always puzzles me, because to supply you and your family with fresh produce all season long, planting a garden is not a one-time thing, it’s an ongoing activity. For example, to be able to harvest your own lettuce from spring through fall, you need to seed a small amount at regular intervals—about every two to four weeks.

Even in ideal weather conditions and with the best possible care, garden crops can fail. The more you diversify what you plant, and the more you spread it out over the gardening season, the better. It’s similar to smart investing, where a diversified portfolio is less likely to turn you bankrupt.

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Yes, You Can Store Tulip Bulbs Till Fall—But Should You?

There are so many beautiful flowers, but we humans certainly have a special relationship with tulips. And when we love something, we want to hold on to it for as long as possible. After the tulips have finished blooming, we want to see them bloom again…

There are so many beautiful flowers, but we humans certainly have a special relationship with tulips. And when we love something, we want to hold on to it for as long as possible. After the tulips have finished blooming, we want to see them bloom again the year after… and the year after that.

In locations with cold winters, tulip bulbs can stay in the ground after the bloom. The foliage withers and slowly disintegrates and you wouldn’t know there are tulips in the soil until they poke their tips out again the next spring. In locations with sweltering hot summers and mild winters, however, tulips cannot survive. For that reason, some people dig up the tulip bulbs after the bloom and store them in the refrigerator to mimic the cold period that tulips require.

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How to Protect Your Precious Plants from a Harsh Frost

When winter sets in, frost can be the hour of reckoning for gardeners. It’s that moment when the plants that have adapted to your local climate are going to be fine (even if a bit unsightly because they are shutting down until spring), while others wil…

When winter sets in, frost can be the hour of reckoning for gardeners. It’s that moment when the plants that have adapted to your local climate are going to be fine (even if a bit unsightly because they are shutting down until spring), while others will suffer, even die, without protection because they are not cold-hardy in your zone.

Shrubs wrapped in burlap are a common sight in winter across yards, but the question is: Do you really want to go through that effort year after year? For anything that you permanently plant—all the perennials, that is—you should only pick plants adapted to your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone. But that’s probably not what you want to hear when you are worrying whether the beautiful crape myrtle you planted in your front yard last spring will make it through the New England winter.

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